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tv   ABC7 News  KOFY  September 13, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

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welcome to assignment 7. i'm terry mcsweeney. today on our program. >> drive and save money on gas at the same time. i'm michael finney. find out how later on "7 on your side." >> also today bay area criminals are getting a second chance and focus on solutions report. bay area researchers make an historic breakthrough in fighting a fungus found in frogs. >> the u.s. commerce has made new import fees on solar panels made in china.
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solar companies in this country, it's a step in the right direction. news business and technology reporter david louie has more. >> reporter: one company owns dozens of sol or panel manufacturers. solar world claims unfair chinese competition forced to it lay off worker is. >> for reasons we needed to close our california planted that continuously manufactures since the late 1970s and we modernized to the tune of $40 million. >> an american subsidies of chinese solar companies will benefit from the new tariff as they build factories in the u.s. they will do additional fact finding. commerce department is scheduled to rule on complaints that china is dumping low cost panels in the u.s. despite concerns the dispute will escalate into a trade war,
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solar companies are pushing ahead to capture important business. they have unviamd a new thin panel that replaces windows at a major train station in china. >> the window can be part of the building. the window, exactly you mentioned that. it could be part of the roof or something. it will have more protection. >> and american capital energy was showing off a new solar system in southern california. water runoff eats greenhouses and creates energy. >> we are taking water through the pond and putting it through a solar system. geothermal could get the water to 140 degrees with the system we designed we were able to get the water to 180 degrees. >> innovation is what american solar companies hope will drive more sales but a level playing field with competitive price will go fuel more profits. >> terry: gas prices are record
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levels for this time of the year. saving a little money at the pump is especially nice. michael finney has one way to cut gas costs. >> he hasn't given up driving but he has found a smart way to go about it. >> all right, we're off. >> he a member of get around, a peer to peer car sharing service where i can rent a car or rent your car to someone else. each owner sets the price. today he is leaving a fuel efficient to toyota in the garage and driving a electric nissan. >> one is the ability for me in an electric vehicle, in hybrid i am still putting gas in. i would like to get to the point of no gas at all. >> reporter: others that he rented is this tesla. a recent study from u.c. berkeley research center found car share users end up renting
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cars that get 10 miles a gallon more than their previous vehicle. some take it one step further. >> 25% of the sample cheryl jennings vehicle. another 25 purchased as a result of car sharing. >> that is what they did three years ago. >> after looking for parking, getting expensive parking tickets, always searching for change to put in the parking meters, high cost of gas and high cost of maintenance of cars just proved to be too much of a has el. >> she es maitd mates she saved $300 on a month on gas and car maintenance of them don't pay for gas. >> i gave up my car once i realized that there were alternatives to having and owning a car here in san francisco. >> about 600,000 people in the
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united states have joined car sharing programs and that number is expected to grow. >> it's well established, car sharing is not going anywhere. >> not only are we saving gas. but it's a great time to driving a car and it doesn't get better than that. >> reporter: researchers point out the average car share user say they save $150 to $4250 a month. >> terry: san francisco's new appointing homeless czar is making nau wet houses. they tell us san francisco's wet house proposal is modeled after seattle. >> if you don't mind, i'm going to take a drink. >> anthony been set the alcoholic. >> my ambition is to wake up in the morning and be able to open
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my refrigerator and have a beer. that is my ambition. i guess that is my future. >> he is no longer homeless. >> one of these days i would like to have me -- >> he lives in seattle's so-called wet houses, where they are allowed to drink under the supervision of addiction counselors. >> you are doing well. >> you got pretty wasted yesterday. >> the alcohol is purchased by using part of the public assistance checks. >> they drink less and they are safer in the community. it's where people are looking out for them. >> reporter: the idea is started to catch on with cities in the country considering similar wet house programs. in san francisco where shelters are clean and sober. it's one of the first considered by one of newly appointed
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homeless czar. >> a lot of people that visit here says san francisco has homeless problem. everybody that lives here becomes an expert on homelessness, you see what is not working. >> they are calling for a few hundred of chronic public drunks. >> we have to look at repeat offenders and we're spending money fighting people and releasing them. if there is a way to wrap services around the front end of the justice system i think we can help people in a more meaning fashion. >> the seattle program launched in 2006 and is considered a success by most because almost all residents cut their drinking significantly. bennett says he is drinks about 12 ceers a day compared to two or three times that amount living on the streets. >> in a way i look like this. you take the bums off the street and kind of clean it up.
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>> still, he says this will likely be his last home. >> believe it or not i probably will end passing away like a lot of my friends have. i seen about 21 guys die over here. better than dying here than dying there out on the street. >> terry: coming up, a future of air travel. effort to help get to you your destination faster as well as safer. plus.... >> how many guys claim that title dirt bag? >> the jericho project and criminals are getting a second chance. [ female announcer ] now get high speed internet at home on our newly expanded advanced digital network, a connection you can count on. introducing at&t u-verse high speed internet with more speed options, reliability and wi-fi hot spots than ever. call at&t now to get u-verse high speed internet
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using and stop criminal behavior stop stealing and get their life using, it means they are going to work. a lot of programs don't address that issue. >> reporter: the job traimy
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